Fusion Connect, formerly Birch, has become synonymous with overcharging customers, providing poor customer support, and charging high termination fees. Social media abounds with businesses recounting how the provider's outages and customer apathy have led to severe downtime and revenue losses, forcing them to look for alternatives.
This article covers the drawbacks of Fusion Connect VoIP, the best alternative, and the benefits of switching services.
Drawbacks of Fusion Connect VoIP
Here are some drawbacks of Fusion Connect VoIP
1. Deceptive Billing Practices
Several customers have vocalized that Fusion Connect has "magical" billing, which features unauthorized charges, and no amount of clarification from billing sets this right.
The company paid $6.1 million when it was Birch to settle investigations and cases related to billing malpractices, but nothing seems to have changed based on customer reviews.
2. Severe Downtime
Fusion Connect customers are frustrated with the frequent outages and subsequent downtimes that last for days. Support reps do not assist customers in resolving issues, leading to businesses suffering revenue losses and operational problems.
3. Poor Customer Support
Several customers complain that Fusion Connect reps are rude and unhelpful. They do not call customers as promised, and customers have to follow up to get issues resolved repeatedly. Having to follow up to get issues resolved has cost several businesses time and money.
4. Exorbitant Early Termination Fees
Fusion Connect does not allow customers to cancel contracts with them. They either magically auto-renew the customer's contract without their consent or charge them exorbitant early termination fees of several thousand dollars.
5. Unfriendly Cancelation Policies
Customers who have tried to cancel their Fusion Connect contract have realized that the company accepts cancelation only in a specific and minimal time. Customers have changed their plans and stuck to the company despite not being happy with their services due to this policy and termination fees.
6. Does not Allow Customers to Switch Providers
Several customers have complained that Fusion Connect does not allow them to switch providers and messes up the porting process. So customers are stuck with Fusion Connect, despite not appreciating the company's services.
7. Safety and Security Issues
Using Fusion Connect’s VoIP phones will make you vulnerable to hacks, attacks, malware, and internet-related threats. Hackers may intercept your data when you use the internet for communication, leading to data and identity theft.
8. Poor Call Quality
VoIP phones' call quality and clarity depend on the internet connection's strength. Internet speeds depend on various factors like network congestion, time of the day, your device, surrounding vegetation, etc., and are inconsistent throughout the day. This fluctuation can lead to call drops, latency, and poor call quality.
Community Phone - The Best Alternative to Fusion Connect VoIP
Community Phone is the best wireless business phone service provider in the U.S., revolutionizing traditional landlines to combine reliability, flexibility, and excellent features. Their wireless landline base connects your business phone to local cell towers, eliminating the need for high-speed internet to make or receive calls.
Experience superior voice quality and reliable connectivity across 99% of the U.S., including rural areas. The unique landline base design ensures superior voice quality in rural and low-reception areas.
Enjoy unlimited nationwide calling, features like spam call blocking, a custom dial menu, call routing, voicemail-to-email, 3-way calling, and more at affordable prices. With US-based support, no hidden charges, and flexibility, Community Phone is the best business landline service.
How It Works
The Community Phone landline base does not tie your phone to the internet as it works off resilient cell towers. The company's partnership with nationwide carriers and the unique design of the landline base ensure connectivity across 99% of the U.S., including rural areas. The built-in antennas on the base amplify signals from mobile towers to ensure superior voice quality in low-reception areas.
The 12-hour backup battery in the base ensures your phones continue working during a power outage or blackout in your area.
What Makes Community Phone better than Fusion Connect VoIP?
Here are some Community Phone features that make it better than Fusion Connect VoIP
Enable seamless communication and create a rich end-user experience with Community Phone's business landline, which has a higher uptime than most internet-based phones. Community Phone has partnered with nationwide carriers to ensure coverage across 99% of the U.S. Since the wireless landline base does not need an internet connection to work, you will not face issues such as call drops, jitter, or latency.
Resilient technology has made the Community Phone landline the most reliable option to stay connected with employees and customers during emergencies.
Their landline base works off resilient cell towers with power backups to support them during a massive outage. The base also has a 12-hour backup battery that keeps your phone working during a power outage or blackout in your area.
On the off-chance your area has a cell tower outage, you can still return missed customer calls through the Community Phone voicemail-to-email feature. Customers who cannot reach you get routed to your business voicemail. Enabling the voicemail-to-email feature for your business ensures you can access these voice messages as text and audio files in the email I.D. associated with your Community Phone user account and respond to customer messages promptly.
Since Community Phone does not tie your landline to the internet; it does not leave your business vulnerable to hacks, attacks, data, or identity theft. You get an additional layer of security as the wireless landline cannot be wiretapped like conventional landlines.
4. Call Quality
Community Phone has partnered with carriers nationwide to ensure robust coverage and clear voice quality in rural areas. The landline base has built-in antennas that amplify mobile signals to ensure crystal-clear voice quality in poor-reception areas.
5. Geographical Limitations
Community Phone's landline service covers 99% of the U.S., including rural areas, making geographical limitations and the monopoly of certain carriers a thing of the past. The landline base's unique design and revolutionary wireless technology provide superior voice quality even in low-reception areas.
Community Phone's partnership with nationwide carriers and the unique landline base design ensure excellent voice quality and connectivity across 99% of the U.S. Experience extreme flexibility with your Community Phone landline, as you can take it anywhere without changing the number. Plug it into a power outlet and a phone, and your landline will work as well as new!
You do not need a technician or advanced skills to install your Community Phone landline. You or anyone in your organization can set up your landline in 30 seconds with the following steps:
1. Unwrap the landline base
2. Connect the base to a power outlet. Do not turn it on yet.
3. Hook your phone to the base per instructions in the manual (Phone 1/Phone 2 port)
4. Toggle the ON/OFF switch to the ON position
5. Turn on the power and wait for 5 mins. Once the base finishes setup, make a test call to ensure your phone works as intended.
8. Emergency Tracking
First responders can easily track your location in an emergency, as they can trace the data originating from the cell tower and zero in on your location.
You don't need fancy equipment for your Community Phone landline, except for the landline base and a SIM. You will receive the SIM with the base when you sign up with Community Phone.
The landline base is compatible with all phone models, saving you the hassle of buying new phone equipment. Save time and money with the zero-cost installation of the landline base.
Community Phone Business Features
Create a great first impression among your customers and callers by enabling the Community Phone dial menu. You can program the automated answering service in the dial menu to custom greet your callers, share important information or announcements, and route calls to appropriate departments or voicemail using business voicemail greetings.
You can program this multilevel answering service to suit your business needs to help create an incredible customer experience, reduce wait time, increase employee efficiency, and enable efficient staffing and scheduling.
Have recorded FAQs in one of the 9 levels of the interactive response unit in the dial menu to help callers find information quickly without waiting for a rep. Share information on discounts, business hours, offers, and promotions on another level. Have call routing at the second level to ensure callers reach the exact person or department they need based on the options they choose. The possibilities are endless!
Route calls to the appropriate person or department with the Community Phone call-routing feature. You can program several phones in your business to ring simultaneously so that an available representative can answer the call. The simultaneous ring feature could reduce wait times for your customers as they get an immediate response. If the person who answered the call cannot assist the customer, they can use the live call transfer feature or 3-way calling to better assist the customer, depending on the scenario.
If the first option does not fit your business needs, you can program your phones to ring sequentially if the first number does not answer or is busy. This way, the customer will be able to receive appropriate assistance. This feature can set up call distribution equally among several representatives in your organization. Repeat callers can be routed to the same representative, increasing customer satisfaction.
Over 65% of customers prefer businesses texting them over calling for fear of spam. To ensure you protect your customer, and engage them in your marketing efforts, use the landline texting feature from Community Phone.
Sending bulk messages can be counterproductive to your business from a customer connect perspective. Some providers may also flag your number as spam and block it.
Engage with your customers, wish them on special occasions, inform them of product and offer launches, and collect feedback through the Community Phone personalized messaging feature that does not let the customer or service provider block your number as spam.
Spam Call Blocking
Statistics reveal that Americans lost over $10 million more to phone scams in 2021 than in 2020. With an average scammer making nearly 200 million scam calls in a year persistently targeting victims, manual call barring and phone features to block spam are no longer effective. According to reports, scammers have found a way around the STIR/SHAKEN protocols implemented by the government, endangering consumers further.
Get the Community Phone spam-blocker to increase employee productivity, decrease distractions and protect your business from losses. The spam blocker challenges robocalls and blocks them before the call can ring your phone, ensuring protection against spam and saving your employees and your business from losses.
The "Safelist," a new Community Phone feature, allows you to list the numbers you want to accept calls from. Your phone will ring to let calls from these numbers through and block all others before the phone rings. You can update your allowed list anytime to add or delete numbers, or Community Phone specialists will be happy to assist you.
Studies report that several businesses miss legitimate calls fearing spam, resulting in a ruined business reputation and loss of revenue. Understanding the need to balance robust spam protection and legitimate calls, Community Phone is launching an iteration of the Safelist soon.
This feature will allow you to accept calls from numbers you want and route the rest to voicemail. Since Community Phone will not block other numbers, you can check your voice messages and respond to the ones you deem necessary.
The soon-to-be-launched "blocklist" is an aggressive spam blocker that blocks over 6 million spam calls based on an ever-growing database of spam numbers and a spam score. You can actively contribute to this database by adding a spam number to protect yourself and other Community Phone customers from scams and fraud.
Talk to Community Phone specialists to learn more!
If you are a business owner, the caller I.D. feature is paramount to your business, with neighbor spoofing being one of the scam trends. Enable this feature to show your business name and number to build trust in your customers and encourage them to engage with your business.
By default, the recipient of your call will see your number, but you can have Community Phone enable your caller I.D. to show your name when you call by filling out this form.
Live Call Transfer
Community Phone has customized the standard "dial an extension" feature to help businesses reduce customer wait times, help collaboration, and reduce incorrect transfers.
Anyone in your organization can use the live call transfer feature to call any extension if you have multiple people handling different inquiries. You or anyone can route the caller to the appropriate department or person by pushing a button against the infinite number of extensions you can program in your transfer list without placing the caller on hold.
If the call reaches an incorrect extension erroneously, that person can transfer the call to the correct extension again. Use this feature to connect departments within your organization or branches of the same organization by programming the numbers in the transfer list.
Enable the call history feature and access information on incoming and outgoing calls to and from your Community Phone landline.
You can use this feature to
- Return missed calls from known contacts
- Store legitimate contacts
- Check caller information against known contacts
- Send a message or
- Block spam calls.
A Community Phone specialist will be happy to set up the voicemail-to-email feature to ensure you get your voicemails as audio files and text messages in the mail I.D. associated with your Community Phone user account.
If you configure a generic mailbox with shared access to your employees, they can promptly respond to missed calls and voice messages. Set a definite strategy and timelines around how and when your organization will respond to customer missed calls or voice messages to build trust, improve service, and enhance your brand reputation.
Benefits of Switching to Community Phone
Besides having a reliable landline service that does not require internet, Community Phone members enjoy the following benefits:
Unlimited nationwide calling: Stay in touch with loved ones, business associates, employees, and customers across the U.S. with Community Phone's unlimited talk and text.
Many companies and customers prefer phone calls to resolve complex issues and decrease churn. Utilize the unlimited time to launch marketing campaigns, engage with your customers, get their pulse, and decrease churn without a massive long-distance bill.
Unlimited text: Customers prefer texts over calls from a business, fearing spam. Send personalized texts from your Community Phone business landline to stay engaged with your customers, inform them of offers and discounts, and collect feedback.
No internet needed: The Community Phone landline base works off cell towers without tying your phone to the internet. Since your phones are not dependent on the internet, they will continue working during an internet outage or maintenance.
Number choice: You can get a new local number FREE when you sign up with Community Phone. You can also transfer your existing number through their unique hand-held porting process.
You can get your business a toll-free number to encourage customers to call you when they need assistance. Tie various marketing campaigns to the toll-free numbers to measure their effectiveness or run outreach campaigns. The possibilities are endless!
Get a vanity number for your business to help your customer remember your number easily to get referrals. Contact Community Phone and speak to their specialists to learn more and get a number!
Zero-cost Installation: The landline base does not require a technician to install it. You or anyone in your business or household can install your Community Phone landline in under 30 seconds and be ready to make calls in 5 mins.
24/7 reliable customer support: Contact Community Phone customer support via phone, email, and live chat 24/7 to experience world-class support from live agents. Glowing customer reviews on BBB and Trustpilot are testimonies of their commitment to customers.
Works during power outages: Save the money you would invest on installing costly inverters or backup power, as the 12-hour backup battery in the landline base ensures your phones continue working during power outages and blackouts.
No hidden charges: At Community Phone, you pay what you signed up for. They do not bundle your service or charge you exorbitant equipment fees. You will not see unexplained charges crop up on your bill, nor will you have to knock on customer support's door to get these charges waived.
14-day FREE trial: Try the Community Phone landline service for 14 days FREE without obligation. You can cancel anytime without jumping through hoops if you think this is not for you.
Hand-held porting process: Community Phone has the quickest, hassle-free porting process among telco providers. Their unique hand-held porting process can transfer your number from the previous provider in 3-5 business days without disrupting your service.
How to get a Community Phone landline?
Follow these steps to get a Community Phone landline:
- Call Community Phone at (866)-340-6256 and speak with a specialist.
- The rep will check your area for coverage. Since Community Phone covers 99% of the US, this should not be an issue.
- You get a local number FREE when you signup. Choose a new number or port your existing number. The specialist will help you get a similar number if your preferred number is unavailable.
- You can discuss getting a toll-free or vanity number for your business with the specialist.
- Choose a plan that fits your business needs.
- If you cannot find a plan that fits your needs, you can ask Community Phone to create a custom plan. Community Phone, a specialist in creating custom plans, can take your business's specific needs into cognizance and chart out the perfect plan for you.
- Complete the signup process
- Wait for your landline base, and install it per instructions. You can contact Community Phone support if you have challenges or questions.
- Wait until the base completes the setup. Make a test call to check if your landline works as intended.
What are the drawbacks of Fusion Connect VoIP?
Here are some drawbacks of Fusion Connect VoIP
- Billing malpractices. Despite the company paying a $6.1 million fine when they were Birch, nothing seems to have changed, per customer reviews
- Unfriendly cancelation policies
- Messed up porting process
- Rude and unhelpful customer support
- Issues with VoIP phones such as poor call quality, call drops, and jitter.
What is the best alternative to Fusion Connect VoIP?
Community Phone is the best alternative to Fusion Connect VoIP. The company has world-class support and honest billing practices. Their wireless landline base connects your business phones to local cell towers and provides reliable connectivity across 99% of the US.
Enjoy business features such as a custom dial menu, landline texting, call routing, call forwarding, live call transfer, voicemail-to-email, and more at affordable prices. Talk to their business specialists today to learn more!
The Community Phone wireless landline is the best Fusion Connect alternative for businesses that want reliable and cost-effective communication solutions. It offers a variety of features and benefits, including scalability, no hidden charges, crystal clear call quality, availability in 99% of the United States, an exceptional customer support team, and more. With these features, affordability, and scalability, Community Phone is the perfect VoIP solution for any business.